Day 4- Fairy lights, fluffy socks, and face masks
Hi, I’ve decided to do a blog every day for advent (well at least try to). These blogs are going to be about various things, some about mental health but also some about other topics. I haven’t planned them yet, so they may be (most definitely will be) rough around the edges. Some may contain trigger warnings; I will say this before the start of the post.
This post is one that I wrote a while ago, didn’t post it, lost it, so I’m re-writing it.
I first started using a certain social media site when I was around 13, up until I was about 15 it was pretty harmless. Then I started using it to help fuel my negative thoughts, and anxieties. I stopped using it for a while when I realised that it wasn’t helping my mental health. I went back on it when I was about 18 for help, as I thought it might have things like self-help tips and self-care tips.
It had self-care tips. But it was very much filled with “fairy lights, fluffy socks, and face-masks” kind of self- care. So this post is going to be about what I really needed, and what others need to, when it comes to self-care.
1- Personal Hygiene
When I’m in a pit of darkness, the first thing to go out of the window Is my personal hygiene. I have been known on numerous occasions not to have brushed/washed my hair for over a month. I have also been known not to brush my teeth for over fortnight or have a bath for weeks. This isn’t pleasant. Some people may wonder how I could have been like that, but when you feel so awful these things are the last of your worries.
So when I’ve eventually realised what’s going on and how I’m feeling, this is the first thing I try and tackle, whether this is just a thing of “I’m going to brush my teeth today” or “I’ll brush my hair”, it’s a start. I will, when I’ve almost climbed out this pit, get to a point where I get back into a routine of doing these things.
The biggest problem with this symptom, and not tackling it, is that it becomes a vicious cycle. You don’t do these things, and they make you feel worse, and then you feel worse, so you don’t do it.
Once I’ve started keeping myself clean, is normally when I realise that the environment that I am staying in really isn’t clean. I mean who has time to clean their bedroom when they’re busy being depressed?
It’s a horrible feeling, getting into dirty, smelly sheets when you’ve actually made an effort to have a wash. It’s also horrible not having any clean clothes to wear. So, I tend to use the idea of being able to go to bed in clean sheets a reward for having a bath, as it really is one of the best feelings in the world.
Also when you’re feeling depressed or stressed and you’ve got out of bed, only to trip over some dirty plates, slip on some bits of paper, and stub your toe on a pile of books. So I try my best to at least clear up what’s on my floor. To be in a tidy environment makes my mind feel less cluttered and makes myself feel a lot calmer.
When my mental health gets bad my diet also gets bad. This is one of those things, again, that can turn into a vicious cycle. Mine tends to turn into something more resembling the magic round-a-bout in Swindon- it’s a mess.
It could consist of overeating, undereating, only eating certain things, to anything in-between. When my mood goes and things get bad, my eating disorder gets worse.
Once I’ve realised what’s going on is when I try to regulate my eating a bit better. However, this doesn’t always happen. Yet I do know that if I do eat a nice cooked meal, it does make me feel better.
5- Speak- Doctors/Professionals/Family/Friends
Although these things can help you gradually to feel better, if you are struggling with your mental health then there are professionals or doctors who can help you. If you already have a therapist, psychologist, CPN etc. then I recommend booking an appointment with them. If not, then try and get into your GP.
Also, try your family and friends if you can, try and speak to them. They can try and support you. I tend to isolate myself when I feel like this, so it’s really important to me.
6- Fairy lights, fluffy socks, and face-masks
Finally, when all the practical stuff has been done. I can use the fairy lights, fluffy socks, and face-masks!
This isn’t to say you can’t use the things mentioned in point 6 first. It’s just that I find these unhelpful when it comes to self-care as I need to be doing the practical stuff first.
Right, I’m off to wash my hair and change my sheets.
Look after yourself,
Love Abbie xx